The Only Girl in the Room: How I Learned to Communicate with Power

When I graduated from college with my shiny new degree in Journalism and Marketing (Texas A&M class of 1990, Whoop!), I had dreams of getting a job in an advertising agency.  In these dreams, the other girls on the account team and I would spend hours in creative meetings, brainstorming and exchanging brilliant concepts; present our design to clients who were awed and humbled by our creative genius; and rise quickly up the corporate ladder … Read more

3 Things You MUST Have to Build a Solid Business

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Recently, I spoke to a group of entrepreneurs and small business owners about business basics.  I started off my talk by saying there are three things you DON’T need to have a successful business: A fancy website A beautiful logo A perfect service/product/program And, there were audible gasps from the audience. I work with so many new businesses who sink a ton of money and time into having a professionally designed website and logo created.  … Read more

Cashing in on Brand Equity

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The following is from a blog I wrote in 2008: “Today on NPR, I was listening to an interview with tourism analyst Ralf Garrison of the Denver-based Advisory Group, Inc.  He was discussing the downturn in the Ski Industry this year.  Now, I’m not a skier, but he said something that immediately caught my attention.  “Some resorts are characteristically better known than others.  They have more BRAND EQUITY.  They have more loyalty in the marketplace, … Read more

Five Ways Branding Saves Time and Money

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When I begin working with a new client, the first thing I do is ask them if they can define their brand for me.  Why?  Frankly, because it tells me how much work we have to do.  If a business owner can tell me in clear language exactly what they offer, and to whom they offer it, they are miles ahead and we can hit the ground running. If they can’t give me that information, … Read more

10 Written Statements Every Woman Business Owner Needs to Succeed

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I started my business kinda sorta by accident (read the story here), meaning I didn’t plan to start a business when I did.  And, because I didn’t PLAN to become a woman business owner, it took me a very long time to treat it seriously. How do you know you’re not taking your business seriously? Do you find yourself continually giving away your products or services because you “just love what you do”? Do you … Read more

The Accidental Entrepreneur (or, How I Learned to Take My Business Seriously)

I was reminiscing today about that time that I started my own business. You know, that day way back in 1999 (the LAST MILLENNIUM, as my daughter would say) when I quite my corporate job and became an entrepreneur.  Huge decision, right?  Big day.  Momentous, even. Except, it didn’t feel momentous.  It didn’t really feel like anything.  Because at the moment I submitted my resignation and became a small business owner, I DIDN’T EVEN REALIZE … Read more

Get Out the Map: How Vision, Mission, and Brand Work Together to Guide Your Business to Success

When I start working with a new client, I ask them three things: Do you have written vision and mission statements? What about a written brand statement?  Why these three things? Because my client and I are about to embark on a journey together and, these three things are going to save us a lot of gas. Yes, I said “gas.” Because the analogy I like to use to define vision, mission, and brand is a … Read more

The Only 3 Lists You Need to Tackle Overwhelm

Recently, a newbie woman entrepreneur asked me, “When does starting your own business stop feeling like a sprint and start feeling like a marathon?”  After I stopped laughing, I told her that, after 18 years as an entrepreneur, I’d let her know when I got there. When we start out in business, we are buoyed by exhilaration and drive.  Everything is new and exciting, we’re learning what we’re made of and we’re making something for … Read more

Why Women Need Women-Only Business Groups

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First, I want to go on record saying I love men.  Truly, I do.  Some of the best people I know are of the male persuasion.  And, people ask me all the time if I coach men.  Well, yes, I do.  And I have.  But as someone who started her career in the male-dominated industries of engineering and construction management, and who has been in the trenches of business ownership as a woman for 18 … Read more

My One Word for 2017 – Flourish

This year, instead of a list of resolutions, I’ve decided to focus on “my one word”.  To do that, I’m replacing a long list of new year’s to-do’s with one, simple word that I can focus on all year long. The word sums up how I want to feel and how I want to live. The idea is that by keeping that one word in mind all year, I will align my actions and decisions in a … Read more